Ethiopia Holidays - Lalibela


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Ethiopia Holidays - Priests at Lalibela

Lalibela, often referred to as the '8th Wonder of the World', is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to 11 medieval, monolithic, rock-hewn cave churches and which is Ethiopia's best known historical site.  There are many legends about the building of these amazing churches, but whatever you choose to believe it is impossible to deny the splendour of this unique complex of labyrinthine tunnels and crypts connecting galleries and grottos, all carved out of the living rock.  On the first day we recommend that you explore the first group of six churches ('Bets'): Bet Golgotha, Bet Mikael, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem, the latter built like a Greek Temple with three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

On the morning of day 2 there is a choice of visiting either the Monastery of Nakuto Leab or the Ashetone Mariam Monastery, the latter involving a 'mule trek' up a steep mountain slope.  After lunch, visit more of the cave churches built by King Lalibela (the second group of churches), including the famous Bet Georgis (pictured below during one of the frequent religious festivals).  This Greek cross-shaped church is located in a deep pit with perpendicular walls and is accessible only by a tunnel.

Lalibela VIDEO (7 min 53s)

Ethiopia Holidays - Lalibela - Bet Georgis